Snow squall blasts Roaring Fork Valley Monday morning ahead of winter storm, causes treacherous conditions and travel delays
An intense wind ahead of the next winter storm hit the area from Carbondale to Aspen just before 8 a.m. Monday morning, setting off a series of issues for travelers and those trying to make their way to the Aspen ski areas.
The National Weather Service office in Grand Junction sent out a snow squall warning about 8:10 a.m. that ran until 8:45 a.m. for much of eastern Garfield and Pitkin counties. The squall rolled through the Carbondale and Basalt areas about 7:30-7:45 a.m., causing whiteout conditions as Roaring Fork Schools were about to start for the day.
The storm also interrupted bus service to Snowmass Village going up and down Brush Creek Road from the park and ride for a short time (it resumed about 9:15 a.m.) and also delayed the open of Aspen Mountain and Buttermilk/Tiehack.
The Colorado Department of Transportation and State Patrol closed eastbound Interstate 70 over Vail Pass for a couple of hours, also. The interstate had reopened by about 10:30 a.m.
There were also delays for morning flights arriving and departing from the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. Travelers were advised to check with their airlines or at aspenairport.com for updates.
“A dangerous snow squall was located near Aspen … moving southeast at 30 mph. … Wind gusts greater than 45 mph,” the warning stated.
The weather service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Elk and Gore mountains until 9 a.m. Tuesday above 9,000 feet, and it included the Aspen and Snowmass area.
Another 4 to 8 inches of snow is expected with this storm and winds gusting up to 45 mph.
Those traveling along Interstate 70 on Monday should expect closures and delays through the day, the Colorado State Patrol said Monday morning.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office sent a tweet warning drivers on Highway 82 that conditions could change rapidly during the morning storm. A group of cars was stopped near the Aspen airport and Mountain Rescue Aspen building, the Sheriff’s Office stated.
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